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Delta Expands Further in Africa and Asia with Nonstops to Angola and Equitorial Guinea (Really)

(updated from an earlier incomplete post…)

Delta will launch flights to a host of cities in Africa and Asia next year, as they cherry-pick opportunities for cities that will survive during an economic slowdown.  Incredibly, they’ll offer one-stop service from Atlanta  (through Cape Verde) to Luanda, Angola; Malabo, Equitorial Guinea; and Abuja, Nigeria.  Seriously.  I know that Malabo and Abuja have lots of oil-related business traffic, so there’s built-in business there (flights are only once or twice a week).  JFK, meanwhile, gets a nonstop to Lagos, Nigeria.  Fares aren’t cheap ($2,000), in case you were wondering.

Delta also announced it will serve JFK- Gothenberg, Sweden, and JFK – Zurich and JFK-Valencia, Spain, with a 757 beginning next June as well (which seems to encroach on Continental’s strategy of serving secondary European cities with 757s).  Very clever.

Salt Lake City and New York will see new nonstops to Tokyo, and you’ll be able to continue on to Ho Chi Minh City with a daily nonstop.  These flights should feed nicely to Northwest’s Tokyo hub and continuing service into Asia.

Delta’s pretty much gone all-in with these moves, building an international presence that will likely see little to no competition.  Brilliant.

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  1. Luanda is oil business as well.

    With international aid, NGO, USG and oil money, you should be good. Not sure if flights to Africa from the US will get the USG upgrade (over 12 hours, I think?)

  2. When I saw these route additions, I immediately thought “Pan Am.” It was a little before my travelling days, but I recall that Pan Am had lots of flights to obscure worldwide destinations.

    I guess if you have no real competition, some of these things can work — especially if you’re the world’s largest airline! Obviously, “the data” suggested these city pairs could work. Some probably will and some probably won’t. And I doubt they’ll make a lot of money on this stuff.

    But it certainly is interesting, and it does seem right that the US “should” have more direct service to some of these under-served destinations, like Africa.

  3. You’re right – Pan Am had a substantial African presence. I actually don’t think there’s a ton of risk. The more obscure African routes are served out of the mini-hub on Cape Verde with a 757. It’s not a huge scope – and I bet if one of those destinations don’t work, they can substitute in Banjul, Abidjan, Conakry, or any handful of other cities and try to serve it once a week.

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